On the day Myrtle Beach celebrated 80 years as a city, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce C.E.O. Brad Dean announced his resignation.
While the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce has played a key role in the city since the 1950’s, the era that began in 2009 witnessed the chamber taking center stage. The TDF helped transition the chamber from an advertising helper to the key player in the city, county, and the state. Accolades aside, the emphasis placed on making certain the city was not outspent by other tourist destinations, might have distracted previous elected leaders of city government.
Cities, like North Myrtle Beach, also encourage and foster a relationship where their chamber operates as a vital part of the city. Those cities, however, make their chamber a team player that is only one element in a congruent whole.
The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce could never have lived up to the expectations put upon it by the attention the TDF brings to bear. Residents spoke out at Myrtle Beach City Hall yesterday asking that the tax be put to a referendum, or terminated, or allowed to expire.
Dean departs Myrtle Beach at a time when the city is clearly in high transition. Leadership at City Council are now faced with a crossroads decision.
The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber has a vital role to play in Myrtle Beach’s future. The size, scope and definition of that role should be investigated. Perhaps, the audacious moniker the chamber claims as protecting Myrtle Beach should be reconsidered.